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High School student program update



The University of Kentucky is transforming tomorrow by training the next generation.


The UK High School Student Research program is designed to support the introduction of high school students to the excitement of research and discovery and to encourage the future enrollment of outstanding students at the University of Kentucky.

Effective September 2019, there is no longer a formal high school program that requires an application. 


High School Research Program

Historically, students from various central Kentucky high schools have worked with UK faculty on a wide variety of research projects.

Today, high school students from across the state work on research projects under the direct supervision of UK faculty mentors. Sometimes this is done for academic credit at the high-school level, and sometimes it is initiated by the student as an extracurricular activity.

We hope to attract such outstanding students to the University of Kentucky as undergraduates and hopefully, in future years, as graduate or professional students.

Minors in Labs at UK Policy

UK Environmental Health & Safety: Minors in Research Laboratories or Animal Facilities Program

Per the University of Kentucky's Division of Environmental Health & Safety's MINORS IN RESEARCH LABORATORIES OR ANIMAL FACILITIES PROGRAM

This policy covers minors, persons under the age of 18 whether student, employee, or volunteer, conducting research in all UK research laboratories, greenhouses, animal facilities, animal procedure rooms, animal housing areas, clinical laboratories and field work activities.

Minors under the age of 14 are NOT PERMITTED inside of any research laboratory, greenhouse, or animal facility at the University of Kentucky unless it is for UK sponsored programs which are designed for youth under the age of 14 and which have documented training and safety policies.

*Visiting minors, not previously approved as part of a UK program, tour, or science fair, are NOT ALLOWED in any UK research laboratory, greenhouse, or animal facility for any reason.*

UK Occupational Health and Safety: Minors In Research Laboratories or Animal Facilities

Environmental Health and Safety is committed to helping young researchers understand the risks involved with working in research laboratories or animal facilities and how those risks can be minimized.  The Minors In Research Laboratories or Animal Facilities Policy was developed to document the risk assessment decision logic for each proposed project. The risk assessment also provides researchers information on controls and training that are required when certain hazards are present.

  • Please read the instructions document

  • Complete the Minors in Research Project Registration form

  • Submit the completed Minors in Research Project Registration form online here

  • Minors working in research laboratories or animal facilities must complete EH&S training modules online prior to beginning laboratory work. All UK EH&S training modules are available online here. A UK Linkblue ID account is required to complete UK EH&S online training modules.

  • Fill out the Project Risk Assessment

  • Materials for High School Instructors

The risk assessment and the project form will be reviewed by EHS and an approval letter will be sent to the Principal investigator once the review is complete. If you have any questions about this process of laboratory safety at UK, please contact Delena (Dee) Mazzetti, Biological Safety Officer.

UK Healthcare Observation and Learning Experience (OLE)

Individuals volunteering in research at UK HealthCare for personal experience or as required for academic credit shall be “onboarded” through the department of Observation and Learning Experience (OLE).  In support of our commitment to career development, education and training of health care professionals, UK HealthCare provides individuals with observations and learning experiences in various clinical areas and business professional departments. Multiple learning opportunities are provided by UK HealthCare and onboarded by the office of Observation and Learning Experience (OLE). 

Review additional information and submit an Onboarding Request Form via the Observation and Learning Experience website

For more information, please contact



Call 859-218-5792 or 859-218-5793



Observation and Learning Experience 

UK Good Samaritan Hospital 

310 S. Limestone, Suite B111 

Lexington KY 40508   

Office hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The main entrance of Good Samaritan Hospital is located on the ground floor. Go to the first floor and follow signs to vending. Our office is located in Suite B111 next to vending.


College of Arts & Sciences: Minors in the Lab Policy

In addition to the UK Division of Environmental Health & Safety and UK Occupational Health & Safety requirements, the UK College of Arts and Sciences has additional requirements for minors in the labs.

View Arts and Sciences Minors in the Lab Policy


Student Parking at UK.

Student Parking at UK

UK Transportation Services is able to provide high school students with access to campus, in the same manner, we do our traditional students. This includes a variety of parking options. For more information on permits, parking areas, and transportation services, visit UK Transportation Services’ website.

View High School Parking Permit Information (updated Sept. 2019)

Student WildCard ID.

UK Mentors are responsible for submitting documentation for high school students to get a WildCard ID.

Student WildCard ID.

Discover What's Wildly Possible with Research.



Present Your Research

Share your research!  High school students are also eligible to present their faculty-mentored research at the annual Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars typically held the last Wednesday in April in the Gatton Student Center Ballrooms.

Presenting your research provides you with an important opportunity to share your findings and results with other students and faculty and gain valuable feedback on your work, as well as practice your public speaking skills. 

Showcase 2022 Seun Adekunle



Students in the News

Lewis Honors College students expand UK’s health care education reach into rural populations

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 27, 2023) — Jackson Miller and Ethan Morgan, former Marshall County High School classmates and now best friends and roommates at the University of Kentucky Lewis Honors College, first arrived in Lexington feeling a bit overwhelmed of all the opportunities available to them UK.

University of Kentucky's DNYay! genetics outreach program engages high school students

Lexington, Ky.— A University of Kentucky entomologist is embarking on a quest to help high school students unlock the mysteries of genetics. The project, led by assistant professor Nicholas Teets, brings advanced genetics techniques and hands-on learning experiences to the classroom, fostering students’ interest in science.